Richard Garriott has announced that he is leaving NCsoft to pursue "new interests" following his trip into space.
Garriott, who was behind the company's Tabula Rasa MMO, which has struggled to make a significant impact on the market despite attempting to bring new ideas to the genre, announced the news in an open letter to the game's community.
"I am happy to finally be able to write the players and community of Tabula Rasa," he said in the letter. "We've been on quite a journey together. First in creating a game unlike any other on the MMO market, then growing a loyal community and finally launching the game and its players into space with Operation Immortality. It has been quite an unforgettable journey, one that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
He went on to talk about Tabula Rasa, noting honestly the "rough launch" but praising users for their patience and commitment, as well as the development team for working hard on "polish, updates and new content out every month since launch".
"Many of you probably wonder what my plans are, now that I have achieved the lifelong dream of going to space," he continued. "Well, that unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to. As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests."
NCsoft, also responsible for Guild Wars, Lineage and City of Heroes/Villains, has faced a difficult year, with profit down significantly this year. The company also restructured its US and European businesses under the NC West banner, with resulting redundancies.